The Kansas men's basketball team got what it wanted: the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional.
However, having Duke (No. 2) and Michigan State (No. 3) in the region wasn't great. Will that affect the Jayhawks' chances of making the FInal Four? Some national observers believe it will.
One writer thinks KU may not make it to the second weekend of the tournament.
Mike Hume of the Washington Post looked at which teams that got a top-two seeding were the most vulnerable. Kansas was one of them.
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Hume wrote: "This comes down to one big red flag in an otherwise strong statistical profile. The Jayhawksallow a lot of offensive rebounds. Like, 297th-out-of-351-teams-in-defensive-rebounding-percentage a lot. This is particularly problematic given a potential second-round matchup against Seton Hall and human glass cleaner Angel Delgado who, along with Michigan State’s Nick Ward, is one of the best offensive rebounders in the tournament."
You can read more of what he wrote about the Jayhawks here.
Here is what others are saying about the Midwest Regional and Kansas:
USA Today's George Schroeder picked Michigan State to win the Midwest Regional. Here is what he wrote about the Jayhawks: "Kansas features a four-guard lineup that makes 10 three-pointers a game, and transfer Malik Newman emerged as an explosive scorer in the Big 12 tournament, but the Jayhawks could be susceptible to opponents with size — especially if center Udoka Azubuike isn’t recovered from a sprained knee."
In analyzing which team will win the regional, Schroeder wrote: "Meanwhile, the No. 1 seed is not your typical Kansas team. These Jayhawks have very little depth and don’t have a lottery pick – and there’s also their dubious recent history in the NCAA tournament. "
Sports Illustrated believes that Michigan State will beat Kansas in the regional final. However, the magazine sees Devonte' Graham as being a difference-maker in the early rounds. "If Kansas is seriously tested before the second weekend, trust that Graham will lead it to safety," it wrote.
Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports also has Michigan State winning the Midwest Regional. He wrote about a potential Spartans-Jayhawks meeting: "Would you really take Bill Self over Tom Izzo? Me neither. This Kansas team has scrapped its way to the Big 12 title behind Devonte’ Graham. But with Udoka Azubuike’s MCL a looming issue – he’s expected to play against Penn – it’s hard to see Kansas muscling its way through this brutal bracket.
Kyle Boone of CBS Sports picks Michigan State, too. But Boone believes KU won't be tested early in the tournament. He wrote: "The Jayhawks' toughest competition in getting to the Elite Eight, assuming results all fell chalk, would be No. 4 seedAuburn, a team that has lost four of six going into theNCAA Tournament. The bracket does balance itself out, though, because having both Duke and Michigan State in the same region as the Nos. 2 and 3 is a brutal draw. But it appears that the path for KU to make a third straight Elite Eight looks pretty smooth."